In your share this week:
- salad mix
- yellow onion
- golden beets - we are leaving the tops ON the beets so you can eat them. Soon, they won't look so good, or there won't be room in the share bags to keep the tops, so enjoy them while you can. Remember to remove the tops from the beets soon.
Quotes from last week that remind us why our work is important! Kids who love kale! Made my day! Great example for us adults too.
From CSA member Dawn - "We are definitely not tired of the kale. That is the only green that Violet (22 months now!) knows by name, and the first thing she eats from her dinner. If she feels that she wasn't given enough kale and we still have kale on our plates, then she points and cries "Kale! Kale! Kale!" until we share. It's pretty funny. We serve it to her steamed with a little nutritional yeast."
From CSA member Cora - "My 3 year old is the exact same! He helps me chop it and the chard nightly for our salad and eats it all along the way. We put it in smoothies for lunch and eggs for breakfast! More more more, we can't get enough of the Kale either! Thank you for having such a wonderful mix of greens!"
Thought I'd share a few pictures to demonstrate the efforts we and the workshares are taking to provide you nice, clean veggies each week. Sometimes there is a lot more going than may be apparent just looking at your bag of salad mix, carrots, etc.
These three rows of salad greens are what we harvested from for this week's salad mix. Last friday was dedicated to weeding sections of these rows so we could even hope to harvest. Then on Monday morning, Shain and I carefully cut from the areas that were cleared for us. In this picture above you can see one row I was working on. Near the bucket is a section I'd already cut from, then a few more feet of greens that I came back and finished cutting. Up ahead is the very weedy section that needs to be taken care of by our weeding crew again this coming Friday.
After Shain and I cut the 30 pounds of greens we needed this week (each bucket of cut greens weighing around 4 pounds), we start the washing process. Each bucket goes into a sink full of water and is sorted and washed by hand, then to a second sink for another sort and wash before it goes into a large, commercial salad spinner. The next step is to take even parts of the various greens and mix them all together to create the salad mix. Last, the mix is bagged, weighed and sealed. (This batch of salad greens is not only very weedy, it's also been rained on a lot, so it's very dirty. The water from the first wash demonstrates this very well. If the water in the second wash gets too dirty before the batch is finished, it's dumped and filled again with fresh clean water. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.)
Carrots go through a similar process. After the carrot tops are removed, we fill the buckets of carrots with water to start loosening the mud. Next, they go in a sink and are sprayed with water until clean. Then they go in a second sink of water to rinse again. Workers then put the cleaned carrots into clean buckets and take them into our work area to be bagged. During this entire process we are sorting out the broken, split or other "ugly" carrots not meeting our standards. Today we only did about 5 buckets of carrots because that's all the that was in the row to harvest. Last week we harvested eight 5-gallon buckets of carrots!
Cucumbers! Another farm favorite for many people. Over a week ago Shain came in the house and said he had a nice surprise for me. I was hoping he'd say it was a ripe tomato, but not yet. Instead, a fully developed cucumber! (Almost as good as a tomato.) He said the plants were loaded with small cucumbers and we have them for the CSA soon. Imagine my surprise on Monday when he said "I HAVE to harvest cucumbers today, they are everywhere!" He brought in bucket after bucket of them. A total of 99 on Monday alone. I'll pick a few more on Wednesday to make sure we all get 2 this week. Yeah!
We had some extra time today after putting together all the CSA shares. So we worked on all the garlic that has been hanging to cure in our shed. Today we were able to chop all the "Music" variety into bushel baskets and boxes. The next step is to clean it up. As you can see in the photo above, it looks a little rough in the beginning, but in the end - it's beautiful!
Have a great week and ENJOY your veggies!